Living with a mental illness presents serious challenges when a person has stable housing. But, when an individual living with a mental health condition is without a safe, stable place to live, their struggles are multiplied. Mental illness and homelessness are compounding issues that can contribute to one another and create a cycle that makes it incredibly difficult for those caught in it to pursue stability.
The myths that surround these two issues can create a host of misconceptions that only add to the weight of struggle carried by those experiencing both mental illness and homelessness. The statements below represent several of the most common—and most harmful—myths about people living with these challenges. Continue reading
Stigma can be described as: “when someone, or even you yourself, views a person in a negative way just because they have a mental health condition.”* It causes those living with mental health struggles to experience a sense of shame and judgement and to feel defined by their illnesses rather than seen as people. Continue reading
In recent years, our culture has become more aware of the harm that stigma inflicts on those living with mental illness. Negative attitudes, discrimination and prejudice again those dealing with mental health challenges can not only be hurtful, but can prevent these individuals from seeking help as well as from securing jobs, finding housing and forming relationships. However, this stigma touches far more than merely the individuals who struggle with mental health conditions. Continue reading
Although holidays are usually thought of as times of celebration, for many who live with mental illnesses, they can bring numerous challenges. But proactive measures like the following can make managing mental health difficulties less of a hurdle. Continue reading
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.” (source unknown)
Angel, Well member
Members of The Well Community know these thoughts to be so very true. And being at “home for the holidays” means many different things to our members. Because of stigma, homelessness and other challenges that often come with mental illnesses, some of our members have learned to develop family units with people who understand and share their lived experiences. Some do live with their family of origin, while others live with siblings or with a spouse. And as described below, some live together as members of The Well. Continue reading
The following is posted with permission from the Sparks of Redemptive Grace website. This prayer guide is available for purchase as a booklet or e-book.
31 days, 31 ways, 2 pray 4 families
By Catherine P. Downing
“Pray for us.” 1 Thessalonians 5:25a ESV
Families who walk alongside their loved ones in the labyrinths of mental illnesses are often hesitant to ask for prayer. They might feel others will judge them or their loved one, offer uninformed advice or initiate the gossip chain. But friends who observe or are aware of their journey don’t necessarily need specific details to pray effectively.
Families ALWAYS need God’s provision for themselves and their loved ones in these areas: Continue reading
File photo taken pre-COVID-19
By Joel Pulis, Founder of The Well Community
In the earlier years of The Well Community, I regularly heard stories from my friends about how they had been made to feel unwelcome at various churches. Anne, a preacher’s kid, shared how she would sit outside of Sunday morning services, unable to make herself go in because she was certain that the congregation would never welcome a person struggling with mental illness. Joan told me how she was escorted out of a Sunday school class and told to never return. And Durwin wasn’t even allowed to attend his own family’s place of worship just a few blocks down the street from our building! With each account, my calling to start a spiritual community for adults living with serious and disabling mental illness became more and more justified. Continue reading
Ged Dipprey (left) with Linda Ward and Sam Vachon from Good Deed Real Estate Group
Ged Dipprey is an affable neighbor with a mind for real estate and a heart for members of The Well Community, who live with life-altering mental illnesses. Ged’s family, including his wife, Lori, and two children, have been supporters of The Well for several years. His business, the Good Deed Real Estate Group, which includes Oak Cliff residents Sam Vachon and Linda Ward, also partners financially with The Well. Continue reading
May has been Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m glad—in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place and anxiety-inducing news coverage—that we are provided the opportunity to stop and think about mental health. Ours and others’. Continue reading
May is Mental Health Awareness month. We want to help you become more informed, not only about severe mental illnesses faced by our members, but also about how the stresses of COVID-19 can impact your mental health and what you can do about it.
While the mental health ramifications of COVID-19 make this pandemic a crisis in and of themselves, there is a benefit hidden within this monumental challenge: Our society as a whole is becoming more aware of mental health on a personal level and more open to talking about it. As a growing number of people wrestle with their mental health—some for the first time—our culture is gaining understanding of what those living with mental illnesses face day after day, year after year. Below are key lessons that will help shape the future of the conversation around mental health for the better. Continue reading